I’m saying no to guns

Until recently, I have had a pretty laid back policy with regard to toy guns.  I didn't actively seek out any military style play for my children, but when they wanted a wooden musket from Colonial Williamsburg or a police costume with handcuffs and a gun, I didn't object.  My mother bought marshmallow shooters one Christmas (a big pain, in the end, because they shoot marshmallows everywhere!).  Nerf guns are popular in our circle of boys, and we've had several in our house, though they usually j … [Read more...]

Everybody Freeze!

When a Christmas ornament breaks around here, I call out "freeze" and that means do not move until I have it cleaned up.  This is an important policy because we are often barefooted and I don't like the idea of shards of glass in little feet.  All of the children have learned the drill, and usually whoever drops the ornament is the first to say "freeze."  I love to see my kids stop moving.  Right now, I want to shout "freeze" several times each day, just to see them hold still for a minute.  Our … [Read more...]

Clearing out and Making Room

Today during quiet time I cleared off the shelf that held our "Wednesday pile" all the way from last Christmas.  There were a few random things which  never got opened, and those will go along to goodwill (we use www.pickupplease.org). The truth about the Wednesday pile is that we lose interest by the time the weather gets nice in April, so anything still around by then is usually forgotten.The full shelf above is our games and puzzle shelf, and I did some purging there, too, removing any g … [Read more...]

12 bits of wisdom from 12 years of marriage

Sunday was my 12th wedding anniversary and (I know Red hates it when I get sappy), I have to say that we are happier together than we have ever been.  Here is what I've learned:1) Say "Thank You" often.  He goes to work and I stay home, but even in other arrangements, it is easy to take the other person's contribution for granted, or at least to let them think you do.  I really appreciate that my husband gets up and goes to work every day, rain or shine, and I know that it is not always ea … [Read more...]

Advent Prayer Routine

We have been lighting our Advent wreath at bedtime each night and then taking some time to talk about, and pray for, the people who have sent us Christmas cards. We have moved so many times and some of our children don't remember much about different places we have lived, but they like to hear about our old friends, the twins who lived upstairs from us in the city, or the couple who hosted us the first Christmas that we were away from family. It is really important to me that we pray for each … [Read more...]

A Good Enough Christmas

I have to say, I love Red's list, and I love her "get it done while staying sane" attitude towards the Holidays.  When I look at that list, I realize that there are really so many things that need to get done to prepare for a family Christmas celebration.  I have streamlined my list quite a bit, and I try to do some things early, but every year I wind up in trouble by mid December.  One of the main reasons that I have not been able to follow a list like that in the past is not procrastination, as … [Read more...]

I’m Grateful that We Walk Together

Patheos has given us a writing prompt for the month of November, to consider in gratitude someone who has helped us along on our journey of faith.  I am lucky to say that I could write a month long series considering the important roles that my mother and father, my grandparents, aunts, friends, and of course the builders have played in my life in faith, the important ways that each one has helped me to understand my place in this world as a child of God.  I know, however,  that there is one pe … [Read more...]

Our Vocation is Love

This week I have spoken with several friends who are worried.  They are worried about sick children, aging parents, and the political results.  They are worried about small business, climate change, about power outages, and in a very broad way about the values of the country in which our children will be adults.  These worries are very real, whether they are immediate or distant.  I was worried, too, and feeling quite powerless, or ineffectual, as I was driving my huge van in the snow this aft … [Read more...]

If you can read this, you must have power…

The 4 builders on the East Coast are hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy.  We have been sharing preparation tips, many gleaned from the previous experience of our Texas builders, and more recently from our own experience with Irene.Where I live, in Central New Jersey, the roads are closed, so we are to "shelter in place."  We went out before the storm and bought lots of convenience foods.  We will be able to use our stove even in the power goes out, but I think that we will want to keep things … [Read more...]

My Fall Happy Place

One of the best things about the place where I live is the proximity to a working farm which is tourist friendly.  I grew up in a big city but dreamed about life on a farm, and this is just enough of a taste for me, a mile down the road.  … [Read more...]